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Raëlism is a new religious movement, adherents of which believe that all living things on Earth were created by extraterrestrial beings. The movement was founded in France by Claude Vorilhon aka Raël in 1974 and became to be known as "the largest UFO religion in the world". It made news in 2002 when the Raëlian corporation Clonaid claimed it had cloned a human baby.
Claude Vorilhon was a racing driver, who on 13 December 1973 took a trip to the volcano overlooking Clermont-Ferrand in central southern France. In his book, The Final Message, he describes how after walking and jogging for a while he saw what he first believed to be a helicopter, but realised to be a flying saucer.
“”It measured some seven metres in diameter, about 2.5 metres in height, was flat underneath and cone-shaped. On its underside, a very bright red light flashed, while at the top an intermittent white light reminded me of a camera flash cube. This white light was so intense that I could not look at it without blinking.
|—Raël, The Final Message|
He goes on to describe how an alien emerged from the cone and they began a conversation. The alien claimed to be from "a distant planet ... similar to Earth" and that their purpose in coming was "[t]o monitor and watch over the development of humanity" because "Human beings on Earth are the future, we are the past." It told Vorilhon to return at the same time the next day, bringing with him a copy of the Bible.
Over the next few days, the alien took Vorilhon through the Bible and explained how it proved that aliens had visited Earth in the past.
The book Intelligent Design: Message From The Designers (a combined English edition of his first three books on the aliens) is available on their website as a free download and can make quite a decent read for those that like sci-fi, though more picky readers may find it too simplistic or clichéd.
 Bible interpretation
- In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1
- The alien claimed that "Elohim" does not mean "God", but "Those who came from the sky" and that "created" really means "discovered".
- And the spirit of Elohim moved across the waters. Genesis 1:2
- This refers to "reconnaissance flights" made by the alien scientists, and to artificial satellites they placed around Earth to study it.
- Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place and let dry land appear. Genesis 1:9
- The aliens used explosions that "acted rather like bulldozers" to pile the seabed into one place to create land.
- Of every tree in the garden you may eat, but of the tree of good and evil you shall not eat of it, for on the day that you eat of it, you shall die. Genesis 2:17
- Some people on the aliens' home planet were angry that a new intelligent species was being created. The aliens on Earth had to agree to leave them in a primitive state and deny them access to advanced science. Unfortunately, a renegade group of aliens disagreed and gave humans access to the forbidden knowledge.
- Now that man has become one of us... Genesis 3:22
- The aliens know of a way to prolong human life, but they hid it from humans out of fear.
- So he drove out man and placed at the East of the garden of Eden the Cherubim and a flaming sword... Genesis 3:24
- This refers to "Soldiers with atomic disintegration weapons" who guarded the creators' residence to prevent humans stealing more knowledge.
You get the picture.
The flood turns out to be a barrage of nuclear missiles that caused a tidal wave on Earth, and the ark was really a spaceship containing a single cell of each living creature — a fact that explains the movement's ongoing interest in cloning. The Tower of Babel was a metaphor for taking the Jews (who had most scientific knowledge) and scattering them amongst more primitive tribes. Sodom and Gomorrah were two towns that successfully retained scientific knowledge. The two angels were spies who blinded their attackers with pocket atomic weapons and the destruction of the cities was caused by atomic bombs. The sacrifice of Abraham is another metaphor: the alien creators wanted to test that humanity was now sufficiently scared of them. Fortunately for all of us, they were.
The upshot of all this is that the aliens now think humans might be ready for the hidden knowledge but they want us to prove it.
 Code of ethics
Raëlians must abstain from the use of tobacco, coffee, and recreational drugs, while limiting alcohol use. Homosexuality, masturbation, and bisexuality are accepted, as long as the acts are consensual. Pedophilia, however, is right out. No child should be expected to witness adult nudity and exist in an environment so close to people having orgies.
Despite this, Vorilhon's estranged former wife claims that the group leader was routinely unfaithful to her, bringing groups of female Raëlians home and holding orgies, which affected the children from an early age.
Raëlians enjoy nudity, and are very liberal with their sexual freedom. They are atheists in that they do not believe in any god, and they believe the universe is infinite in time. They do not worship their alien creators, as they are not supreme beings, just beings with superior technology. They believe that our creators were created by some other creators, who in turn were created by a previous generation of creators, and we in turn will create. Whew. The circle of life. The aliens in question are human, through all generations, and, using DNA, created all life on Earth, a form of intelligent design, alien design must deal with problems of bad design, e.g the supposed design of the human prostate as must proponents of supernatural design.
This doesn’t look very plausible but it’s actually more reasonable (sort of) than supernatural religions because it assumes only natural forces. According to proponents, supernatural religions add a further assumption that the supernatural exists which makes such religions even less likely, see Occam's razor.
Also, they like giving each other "erotic massages", which suddenly makes believing in this sound a lot more reasonable. There are lots of people who would talk about aliens all day if the prize was a free ticket to the post-church orgy.
The Raëlians use a swastika, a symbol of good luck. The swastika is located within a Star of David, giving many people fits as to its connotations. The swastika represents infinity of time, and the Star represents infinity of space. The Raëlians eventually changed this symbol when the Israeli government denied them the ability to build an embassy for the aliens in Jerusalem using that symbol — however, more recently they have reverted to the original symbol. Raël also ordered that all members of the leadership hierarchy had to wear the symbol at all times, including at work. One wonders what their employers think of that idea.
In 2002, Clonaid claimed it had created a child, Eve, through clone technology. Clonaid's CEO is Brigitte Boisselier, a Raëlian since 1992. The news of the cloning was widely viewed as a publicity stunt and a hoax, as no evidence of said cloned child was ever made public. Since then, the Raëlians have continued to publish books about their successes in the field of human cloning.
 Other services offered by Clonaid
- Insuraclone – preserve your cells for a lifetime!
- Ovulaid – Not egg flavored kool aid, but a service for infertile women, allowing them to choose their child's appearance based on a catalog of the donors' pictures.
- Clonapet – Not a new allergy medication, but a service intended to clone dead Fido.
 See also
- ↑ The Final Message, Raël, 1988, ISBN 0-9530921-1-9
- ↑ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/fgm-clitoraid-and-the-pleasure-hospital-us-sect-the-ralians-quest-to-restore-women-scarred-by-female-genital-mutilation-in-burkina-faso-9195795.html
- ↑ Wikipedia - Raëlism
- ↑ http://www.rickross.com/reference/raelians/raelians68.html
- ↑ http://rael.org/e107_plugins/faq/faq.php?cat.1.6
- ↑ http://home.freeuk.net/worldling/poems/idlim.html.
- ↑ http://www.rael.org/rael_content/rael_summary.php
- ↑ http://www.proswastika.org/page.php?2.1
- ↑ The Official Raelian Symbol gets its swastika back, Raelianews.org
- ↑ http://www.clonaid.com/page.php?8